Eric Adelson

  • Relax! Aaron Rodgers, Eddie Lacy keep Packers balanced in playoff push

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 5 days ago

    TAMPA, Fla. – Aaron Rodgers limped through the winning locker room here on Sunday, gingerly putting on his sneakers before addressing the media. He had his usual calm vibe, even though a tweaked left calf sent a ripple of worry throughout the NFL that afternoon. Rodgers is one of the best at the delicate balance of staying in the pocket and salvaging a broken play, and he wasn't able to do that as well against the lowly Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Some of his mobility was lost, and some of his throws were low.

    The Green Bay Packers hardly faltered though. They have hardly faltered since Rodgers' declaration that Packers fans should chill out after a Week 3 loss in Detroit. Green Bay has won 10 of 12, with Rodgers rising to the top of the MVP race. But there's a twist to the team's surge: Although so much attention has been on Rodgers, both for his play and his occasional pain, the real difference between the October Packers and these Packers has been elsewhere.

    Granted, Rodgers' extraordinary vision clears space for Lacy. But the improvement of the run game is the stealth story of the Packers' season.

  • Packers fan was victim of Tampa lightning strike: 'I took one for the team'

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 7 days ago

    TAMPA, Fla. – Heather Boone was walking with her brother-in-law from Raymond James Stadium to her car after Sunday's game when she saw the skies darkening all around her.

    "We could get hit by lightning," she joked.

    Moments later, she was on the ground, and bleeding from her forehead.

    Boone, 42, was one of several fans injured when lightning struck the parking lot area north of the stadium where the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hosted the Green Bay Packers. Only about 20 feet from her car when it happened at just after 4 p.m. on Sunday, she was face-down on the gravel in an instant and wondering what had happened.

    "I felt like I got shot in the back," she told Yahoo Sports after walking out of St. Joseph's Hospital here late on Sunday.

    Jason Penny of the Tampa Fire Department said seven people were transported from the parking area to the hospital, and four or five others went on their own. The oldest victim, a man in his 70s, was "worse off" than the others, according to Penny, but conscious. There were no fatalities.

    "I feel blessed," he said. "It could have been terrible." 

    "Here's to being alive," she said.

  • Huge bid for Jim Harbaugh should boost confidence at Michigan - even if it fails

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 11 days ago

    Offering nearly $50 million for a football coach seems preposterous.

    The question Michigan must be asking, though, is this: "What's the cost of not making that kind of offer?"

    The reports Wednesday night that Jim Harbaugh's old school is dangling $48 million over six years for Captain Comeback to come back probably wasn't greeted with shock for Maize and Blue fans as much as relief. Harbaugh is the only hire that could immediately unify a fractious fan base and restore faith in a maligned athletic department. Yes, Harbaugh would be paid more than any other coach in college football, but that only reinforces the belief among Michigan fans that the Big House has to be Big again. Backing up the Brinks for Harbaugh is that kind of Big.

    All this has plunged Michigan into an identity crisis with only one obvious solution: Harbaugh.

    It will shift seismically if Harbaugh says yes.

    And then at least for an offseason, $50 million will feel like a bargain.

  • The rise of 7-6 (and growing) Tacko Fall

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 12 days ago

    TAVARES, Fla. – The grade-schoolers, lined up in the hallway in their uniforms, look skyward and beam with joy.

    "Tacko!!!" they yell.

    He peers down at them through his glasses, grinning and reaching his long left arm out. To the kids, these are very high-fives: Tacko Fall, high school senior, is 7-feet-6-inches tall. And growing.

    The morning greeting looks like a homecoming for a visiting hero, even though Fall is simply on his way to the gymnasium during his free period at Liberty Christian Prep. When he enters, more kids serenade him: "Tackoooo!!!"

    He smiles and stands under the basketball hoop, reaching up with that same left arm and nearly touching the rim without lifting his heels. He smiles for a photo. He's used to that. He gets snapped wherever he goes, even without his permission.

    He understands. He's one of the 60 or so tallest people known ever to walk the Earth.

    "I would be surprised to see me, too," he quips.

    It's intriguing to imagine where a 7-6, 19-year-old basketball player will end up, but it's even more fascinating to trace the winding path Tacko Fall took to get to his unlikely home.



  • Cowboys expose crack in Chip Kelly's system

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 13 days ago

    PHILADELPHIA – Eagles coach Chip Kelly called into a local sports radio program Monday morning and pleaded with fans: "Don't give up on us."

    Kind of crazy that it's come to that, considering his team is two weeks removed from a direct shot at having home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Now the Eagles could miss the playoffs altogether after home losses to the Seahawks and Cowboys.

    There's no reason to give up on a team with nine wins, two winnable games remaining (against Washington and the Giants), and a tiebreak against Dallas for the NFC East, but there is cause for concern beyond what happens during the rest of this month. To be blunt: the Chip Kelly revolution has run into some counterinsurgency issues.

    The Eagles have had three huge post-Thanksgiving games under Kelly that they have lost: in the playoffs last year against the Saints, and then this year against Seattle and Dallas. In all three games, opponents established the run and turned Kelly's fast-paced attack inside out.

    On Sunday night, though, Mincey looked vindicated. He had two sacks and the Eagles running game was mostly hemmed in.

    Defensive back Barry Church seconded that:

  • Cowboys pay back Eagles, putting past December woes behind them

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 13 days ago

    PHILADELPHIA – The traditional dogs of December came off the field woofing.

    "Merry Christmas!" a couple of the Dallas Cowboys yelled at jeering Philadelphia Eagles fans as they departed the scene of their crucial 38-27 win here over the rivals who trashed them only two weeks ago.

    Inside the locker room, there was more barking.

    "We don't care about those fans," Dallas defensive back Orlando Scandrick said. "They just talk. Hey, they beat traffic today. We commend them on their commitment to jerk-ness."

    We're all so used to the Cowboys folding at this time of year, winding up as a punch line for hecklers at 8-8. But this team has 10 wins and, more significantly, zero road losses. The very adversity that crushed the Cowboys in prior seasons seems to ignite them now. They've gone to Seattle and won. Now they've gone to Philadelphia and won, pushing the Eagles to the brink of elimination in the process.

    "One thing I knew," said Cowboys defensive end Jeremy Mincey, "is that we're better than them."

  • There's good reason to fear that Jadeveon Clowney might never show his potential for Texans, NFL

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 19 days ago

    An unsettling possibility hit the sports world on Tuesday night: one of the most talented athletes we've seen in years may have already played his best football.

    Jadeveon Clowney requires a nine-month recovery period after undergoing microfracture surgery Monday on his right knee. That sidelines the Houston Texans' No. 1 overall draft pick into September. What's far more troubling is that a return to his former level of dominance is more of an "if" than a "when."

    "We're trying to convince the body to do something it's not designed to do," said UCF team doctor Michael Jablonski, who has performed microfracture surgery and trained under renowned surgeon James Andrews. "It doesn't work every time."

    Here's how microfracture surgery works to repair the knee and why it's not a sure bet to fully fix Clowney's problem:

    Jablonski compared the missing or torn knee cartilage to a pothole, and the microfracture surgery can fill it with the equivalent of sand.

    "For every person who has come back at a high level," Jablonski said, "there's another one who didn't."

  • Browns coach made mistake by sticking with Brian Hoyer over Johnny Manziel

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 21 days ago

    CLEVELAND – Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine apparently wasn't thinking what everyone else in the football world was thinking all afternoon on Sunday.

    "Did not consider a [quarterback] change in the game," he said flatly after his offense blew a game his defense all but won.

    If that's true, it's befuddling. Johnny Manziel should have had a chance to save the day on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts, and he should have the chance to save the Browns' season going forward.

    Pettine has handled the difficult decision between Manziel and Brian Hoyer deftly over the summer and to this point in the season. He chose Hoyer, and stuck with him, and the veteran brought the team to the brink of only its fourth .500-or-better season since 1989. Everyone wanted to see Manziel, but it was Hoyer who brought the only thing people want to see more: wins.

    On Sunday, though, Hoyer cost the team a crucial eighth victory. The Browns' defense was nothing short of incredible against Andrew Luck and the Colts. "[Expletive], we scored twice on 'D,' " defensive lineman Billy Winn said after the game.

  • Waiting game begins as Jameis Winston's FSU conduct hearing wraps up

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 25 days ago

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The legal advisers walked out of opposite sides of the campus building, fully confident in opposing opinions, trading verbal haymakers with each other. David Cornwell, adviser to Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, called the just-concluded student conduct hearing "a shakedown." John Clune, lawyer to the woman who accused Winston of raping her, claimed, "Mr. Cornwell and the truth, I don't think, are very close friends."

    It made for good theater, but will this university hearing on Winston's behavior lead to any semblance of a conclusion in this two-year-old case? Despite the fact that this was not a legal trial, the answer may be closer to yes than most think.

    One source of uncertainty is Winston's teammates, Ronald Darby and Chris Casher, who were present on the night of the incident two years ago. They both arrived at the hearing on Tuesday, but it is not known if they testified. They certainly could bolster Winston's side, but Clune is confident they did not.

    All that supports Winston's case, but it won't impede the avalanche of doubt if an adverse ruling comes out of this hearing.

  • 'Emotional' first day for accuser in Jameis Winston's FSU conduct hearing

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 26 days ago

    TALLAHASSEE. Fla. – At 12:04 p.m. here on Tuesday, the woman who accused Florida State star Jameis Winston of rape emerged from a white sedan and walked quickly to a conduct hearing she has anticipated for months. She kept her gaze lowered as she entered a campus building on the outskirts of her former school.

    Winston, dressed in a brown suit, was already inside.

    The day would be "empowering" and "emotional" for the woman, in the words of her lawyer, John Clune. In the months since the incident, Winston's doings and whereabouts have been widely reported. He has won a Heisman Trophy, led his Seminoles football team to a national championship and he has been caught for stealing crab legs from Publix. He was suspended from a game for standing on top of a cafeteria table and shouting an obscene phrase. Winston is famous, and likely headed to the NFL draft after the ACC Championship and college football playoff, should his team make it.